How often can you cancel a major event before its existence is threatened because nobody believes in it anymore?

For the Leipzig Book Fair, which after 2020 and 2021 will now be canceled for the third time this year due to corona, this is slowly no longer an academic question.

Despite the constantly changing Corona situation, the Book Fair has now had more than two years to prepare for different scenarios.

A hygiene concept was developed for the special conditions in the exhibition halls, in which the exhibition management believed so firmly that even the Manga Comic Con, which is typical of Leipzig, was to be held with its colorfully costumed audience.

Exhibitors were also allowed to withdraw their bookings until shortly before the start of the trade fair in order to minimize the risk of sudden cancellation.

There was also no lack of oaths of allegiance to this fair in particular and statements of how important it was to meet each other physically this year.

The experiences from Frankfurt, where a reduced book fair was held last autumn, but was still fruitful in parts, gave rise to hopes for this spring in Leipzig as well.

The fact that it was canceled anyway is due to the exhibitors.

The trade fair management announced on Wednesday that they were ready, but in the last few days there had been a number of cancellations that made it impossible to guarantee "the expected quality and breadth of content".

One could also say: to finance the fair at all.

Of course, one shouldn't assume that the big publishers who have canceled have done so with a view to the costs.

But they will also know that the industry has come through the Corona period tolerably, almost without trade fairs.

The fact that the loss of readers, which is lamented everywhere, is not counteracted in this way is another matter.